The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

US Classic – Senior Live Blog

Start list:

Our pre-meet withdrawals belong to Malabuyo and Nguyen, neither of whom appeared at podium training. Malabuyo has a fractured tibia, and it’s just the worst. Shania Adams is also a full scratch now.

It appears from the live scores Trinity Thomas is not doing vault and floor (as expected) and that Skinner is not doing bars. Also possibly no all-around from Sunisa Lee.

The competition is on the Olympic Channel on TV and streaming on the Olympic Channel website. Typically, the website is the better choice because if history is any guide, they don’t go to commercial and you can sometimes catch routines from the non-famouses in the background or something. Or hot mic moments.

Also apparently 6:30 ET is People for 7:00 ET. I see. Why tell everyone 6:30 ET if it’s not? It’s not even like you have a pre-game show you want to trick people into watching or anything…

We’ll have to see how helpful they are in routine showing. I’m already prepared to miss Jones first up on floor because she’ll be at the same time as McCusker on beam.

For those asking, yes, I have had to provide a cable log in to access the online stream.

Well, it already sounded like the announcer called her “Abigael Penis” so it’s going to be that kind of day.

Anthem done. Rotating to events now.

News update: Simone good.

Tanith, Nastia, and Tim appropriately dressed like professional adults now instead of Radioshack employees. Tim looks like he would prefer to be at Radioshack.

Rotation 1

Maggie is closer to the beam than Riley. Maggie is one inch away from stepping in and doing the routine herself.

McCusker – BB – Please let’s legistlate the hitch in Riley’s voice – wolf truple to wolf double, not trouble with those turns – split leap to aerial to straddle jump, smoothly done and connected – bhs bhs loso, just a small adjustment – switch to switch 1/2 to swing down – GREAT – side aerial to split jump to back tuck, nailed – bhs bhs double tuck, step back.

That was TREMENDOUS.

Tim accidentally said “dickmount” instead of dismount, so this competition has already delivered.

14.450 for Finnegan for a DTY. Good score.

LOVING all the waiting we’re seeing!

Hurd – FX – huge DLO, nice height and position, small shuffle, good – front lay to front 2/1, very well controlled – switch ring to split leap 1.5, just around – double tuck, RIGHT to the edge of the floor but stuck it so it was fine – LOL, you better stick – There is so much pain of a nation here and I’m in favor – double pike, a little short with a hop.

Not the most difficulty she can do, but comfortably completed. A good progress point.

15.100 for McCusker on beam. BUT DAMN.

Lee – UB – NABS TO PAK, excellent -to Maloney to Bhardwaj, fab – toe shap 1/2 – giant 1.5 to piked Jaeger and she got it – FTDT, small hop, actually a couple small hops. Great.

Hit Amanar from Skinner for 14.900. OK now.

Faith Torrez did a 6.1 D on beam and got 14.050 for it.

14.700 for Wong on a DTY.

14.650 for Sunisa on bars.

13.400 for Hurd. Just a 5.1 D score.

Biles – UB – Weiler 1/2 to Maloney to tkatchev – hit – toe full a little ragged – into piked tkatchev to Pak – hit – toe Shap 1/2, good – a couple hs – double double dismount, just a tad short with a hop.

Simone doing Simone. Some ragged moments, like the toe full, a couple casts, some legs, but a big hit obviously.

Blakely – FX – “in her final moments” – full in first pass, bounce back, keeps it in bounds – switch ring – comfortable split full – falls out of Memmel turn a bit – double Arabian, deepish with a lunge forward – double pike, hit – double tuck is pretty short, lunge

We see a background hit piked Jaeger for Jordan Chiles on bars.

14.450 for Simone on bars.

12.750 for Carey on beam, presumed fall.

McCallum – BB – candle mount – fine – lowers from handstand a little early for my taste – wolf triple, very smooth – same on the wolf double – side jump split 1/2, secure – side aerial to loso loso, hit and very well done to hit because her foot was a little off halfway through, some leg form issues – aerial to split to bhs, some split lack of 180 – L turn with a little correction – double tuck, step back

13.750 on bars for Chiles, 5.5 D score

14.100 for McCallum on beam.

Note that these E scores on beam are way higher than would be expected at a real meet, so keep that in mind.

Perea – BB – wolf triple to wolf double, not quite as smooth as McCallum or McCusker but hit – back full, secure, just a little chest down and staggered – split position is perfection – off on her loso series – switch to switch 1/2 to back tuck, slow in combination but good elements – aerial to split to bhs, nicely done – split leap to side somi, solid – small adjustment on side jump – 2/1, hop back. Some really strong moments in there despite the miss.

So McCusker is going to be your leader after the first rotation with that gigantic 15.100 on beam. Then we’ve got Skinner and Wong from vault, then Sunisa and Simone from bars.

McCusker the star of that rotation, competing like the training we’ve seen from her.

Skinner’s Amanar had a crossover step Shawn Johnson-style but otherwise strong. Much better than anything we saw in PT.

That’s KFC Yum Center to you, Tanith.

Hurd – VT – strong DTY, a little crunched and a little hop to the side, but a solid one

Morgan Vault Run Face is my favorite book.

14.500 DTY for Hurd.

Thomas – UB – weiler 1/2 to toe full to toe shap to clear hip to tkatchev to pak – A MILE better than PT, totally connected, minimal hesitation – toe shap 1/2, strong – DLO, small hop back.

Our girl is doing fine.

Jones – VT – huge DTY as always – a larger bounce back than she would have wanted – great position in the air – chest up.

14.200 for bars for Thomas. Excellent score.

Carey – FX – Moors, and she hit it – small bounce back, still some knees but improving on the shape a lot – a heel drop toward the end of her double L but close – DLO 1/1 and basically stuck it – switch 1/1, not quite, not bad – double double, two small steps back -a fake-out flare as choreography –  front tuck through to double tuck, bounce back –

Very strong set.

Wong – UB – inbar to inabar Shap to pak to Stalder shap 1/2, excellent – one short hs – inbar 1/2 to Jaeger – cast 1/2, a bit late – toe full is extremely late – DLO, very pretty, kind of short, lunge forward

Looks like we’re not seeing McCallum on FX – in the distance – double double (?) short with a lunge forward – front lay to front 2/1 to front tuck, a little hoppy – switch 1/2 – gets around a wolf triple – cut to a fun shot of Jade Carey watching her

14.250 on FX for Carey. 6.1 D score

Biles – BB – triple wolf turn, fine, just a tad of hesitation – bhs loso loso series, a little tight but holds the landing without much of a check – switch to switch 1/2, pause before back pike to break connection – side aerial, secure – split 1/2 from side, solid – aerial to split to straddle, better connected – full in – excellent – nearly stuck, good chest up, fab dismount.

Some moments of a bit of tightness on a couple acro element landings, but she looks ready and solid through the first two events, the bad ones, the hard ones. Now she gets vault and floor.

Chiles – BB – full turn, smooth – bhs loso loso, super solid – straddle jump 1/2 from side position, strong – aerial to straddle to wolf, good – side aerial, comfortable – switch – side somi, just a bit of an arm wave – double pike, chest way down but a secure landing.

Wow. That was the most secure beam routine I’ve ever seen from Chiles. Ever.

14.900 for Simone with an 8.7 E score. Somehow that’s “low” according to the trio

McCusker – FX – FTDT, bounce back – punch front 2/1 to front tuck pretty – split leap 1/1, well hit position – double pike, a little short but adjusts with only a very small foot slide –  pulls her wolf around, got a little slow toward the end – switch 1/1, no issue – double tuck, small hop.

Through two events, this is a much less YUCK of a US Classic than usual.

We’re going back to see McCallum, so that’s nice.

It was a double double that she landed super short on with a lunge – front lay to front 2/1 to front tuck, shuffle forward out of it – hey! I didn’t pretty good identifying the skills in this routine from 850 miles away! Switch 1/2 – really good full in, secure – Also strong on the double tuck, good work after that opening pass.

14.250 and an 8.450 E is BONKERS HIGH for that first pass.

Simone moves ahead of McCusker after 2 events as expected. Lee is currently 3rd but she’s done for the night, so it’s essentially Wong then McCallum in the standings.

Tom Forster is here with the team delivering solid FML face.

Good job misspelling his name on the graphic, friends.

“Don’t discount the American girl.” BARF.

Rotation 3

Carey – VT – Goes for the Cheng first, not the Amanar – solid move and a solid landing – lots of piking down but a really secure landing, small step.

14.900 for that. Same as Skinner for her Amanar.

Carey – VT  2 – Just the DTY – easy for her to complete – larger bounce back – we saw her miss that Amanar in PT, so makes sense.

Only two people doing bars in this rotation.

Hurd – UB – inbar shap to stalder full to tkatchev, good – small hesitation on hs – Ricna to Pak, good – pulls abck another hs on low bar – shoot to high – toe 1/2 to front giant 1/2 – toe full to FTDT, stuck landing. Exceptionally clean. A couple handstand issues but neither large

Eaker – BB – that split ring leap is still going to kill me, not at her talent level – Y spin – aerial to split ring jump to back handsspring, love it – side aerial to loso loso, nailed – split leap (and a real one) to side somi, small lean – switch ring connection to bhs Korbut, good speed in combo – great rhythm – switch to switch side, great height – 2.5 with bound forward. Good one.

14.000 for Trinity on a beam routine we didn’t see.

Biles – FX – DLO 1/1 to split, just a tad short on landing DLO 1/1 but didn’t matter in connection – Biles to front layout, takes it entirely OOB by several thousand miles, but still well executed on the new combo – front full to full in, far too easy for her with a bounce in place – switch to split 1.5, bad camera angle, couldn’t see finish position – double double final pass, slide back.

Great routine obviously. The requisite OOB.

14.700 for Hurd on bars. 6.0 D. Very big score.

I really want to know what Morgan was air-quoting about right then and I hope it was full of shade.

Eaker goes 15.400 on beam with a 6.8 D score. YOU KNOW.

6.8 D for Simone on floor and a 15.000

Chiles – FX – leg-up double turn which will be interesting because that wasn’t an extended leg, just tucked – DLO, big power, bounce back – 1.5 through to double tuck, bounce back – switch ring to split leap 1.5, nearly around – front 2/1, pretty solid, small shuffle – switch full, all of these leaps are landed just a little too short for comfort – double pike, short chest down with a stagger – full twist to front support –

Eaker – BB – switch to straddle, gorgeous – bhs loso loso, smoothly done – L turn to full turn – switch ring, not quite with that back leg – aerial to split ring jump, some front leg  position – side aerial, small check – side somi, good, tries to connect to a split 1/2 from side, I wouldn’t give the combination, but good individual skills – 3/1 is quite good, basically all the way around, hop back

Ough. Just 12.550 for Chiles on floor.

13.750 on a hit beam for Skinner that we did not see.

Hollingsworth – FX – full-twisting double tuck instead of the double double, smart, love the position on that element for her – 1.5 through to double tuck, bounce back – also pushing the boundaries of charity with some of those leaps – front tuck through to 2/1, small hop – wolf single – long pause in the corner without choreo – double pike, stuck landing, nice finish

Finnegan – BB – Arabian, well hit, just a little deep, but secure – bhs loso loso, smooth and secure – switch to switch ring – punch front, very deep with a leg-up check – switch ring, back foot and not the most extended ring elements you’ll see – aerial to split to Korbut – smooth – 1.5 dismount taken exactly one inch away from the beam, but hit

14.300 beam score for Wong.

Emily Lee – FX – quite a strong DLO, sure landing, small slide – kept her layout position well – 2.5 to front full, a bit short, step back – switch ring to switch 1/2 – double tuck, bounce back – double pike, bounce – strong routine, impressive.

Skinner beam, we’re seeing in retrospect – candle mount – hit – back handspring to tuck full, very solid, bhs position – side aerial to split to straddle, secure – switch to switch 1/2, pause in connection to back tuck, switch 1/2 is short, the rest is fine – split 1/2 from side position, not quite 180ing – L turn with a wobble, maybe didn’t keep leg up the whole time – double tuck, secure landing. Good hit.

So it’s Simone and then Riley at the top, but McCallum is very close to McCusker now in 3rd. Eaker, Wong, and Hurd very closely packed in the next tier.

Biles – VT – She has posted the Cheng – excellent, great distance and position and height and yada yada yada, small slide back and that’s pretty much it

McCallum – UB – weiler 1/2, a little right – toe full to toe shap, some legs apart – connects into tkatchev – Downie and catches it – connecdtion to a straddled Pak – Toe shap 1/2, nice legs on that one – FTDT, step back. Quite a bit to take in execution there but a hit without major error.

15.650 vault for Simone so that she can get 60 in the AA.

Skinner – FX – This should be interesting – Moors, hit but a step back OOB, not as extended as Carey – front tuck through to full in, slide back – L hop 1/1 – switch leap 1/1, will get deducted for lack of 180 – double double tucked, short with a lunge forward – split leap 1.5 – double wolf turn attempt and it’s hysterical, takes it onto her thigh for the second turn – 1.5 through to nothing, pulls out of that pass with a back tuck.

Looked really tired in the second 1/2 of that routine. Was struggling more on skills that we see her do more comfortably every week at Utah.

14.550 for McCallum. 57.700 in the all-around. I don’t understand how she gets such high E scores.

McCusker – UB – stalder full to toe shap to tkatchev, well completed – Ricna to pak to stalder – toe Shap 1/2, good legs together – very short cast hs – a little deep on dismount but fine, small hop.

Wong – FX – better Dos Santos than in training, deep but still tries the stag out of it – 3.5, gets it around with a large lunge forward – switch ring to leg-up hop 1/1 – 2.5 to front layout, that one gets a little more ragged – nice popa – 3/1 final pass with a lunge back

14.550 for McCusker on bars, which keeps her ahead of McCallum. 57.900 AA score.

Jones – BB – L turn, drops too early – Arabian, but off to the side and grabs the beam – bhs bhs layout to two feet, saves it with a leg-up wobble – side aerial – split 1/2 to straddle 1/2 was the strongest part of the routine – front tuck, slide back – bhs bhs double pike, lunge back

Carey – UB – small arch on first hs  – Ray, with flexed feet – 1/2 to Yezhova, hit – Maloney to Bhardwaj, hit, some legs – doesn’t try to connect out of it – 1/2 turn and shoot to high – giant full – FTDT, near stick. Fine. Good for Jade-type routine.

Kara Eaker went 14.050 on floor. Well now.

Hurd – BB – back full, doesn’t connect out of it, but secure landing – Tim can just shove it, we want the back full to jumps combination – side aerial, solid – bhs loso with a little lean – aerial to split ring jump, hit – switch to straddle to split jump, lovely positions – switch ring, larger check there with a bend at the hips – double pike, hop back. One large break but a good routine and a strong day.

13.800 for Finnegan on floor. She had a big day as well.

We won’t see Jeffrey on floor, so just waiting on Morgan’s score now.

13.900 for Hurd puts her 6th in the AA. Won bars.

This was far stronger than we usually see from a US Classic. Far less of a splatfest.

1. Biles – 60.000
2. McCusker – 57.900
3. McCallum – 57.700
4. Eaker – 56.800
5. Wong – 56.650
6. Hurd – 56.500

Good meets for all six of them. Particularly impressed by Eaker beating Wong and Hurd. Eager to go back and watch those non-beam routines of hers. McCusker confirming what we saw in training from her. Hurd a solid day but definitely downgraded.

Alright, now that we got all that “blah blah great job” out of the way, these E scores you guys. Bars, beam, and floor all had moments of being an easy 0.5 too high.

Also we need to not forget how Thomas broke 14 on both bars and beam.

Now we wait on news of the Pan Ams team. I mean, McCusker, Lee, Hurd, Wong, and Eaker looks pretty good right about now. Sloane Blakely didn’t do enough. Shilese probably didn’t do enough. Finnegan had a good day. Traveling alternate as a reward?

Ugh. Pan Ams team just went by the effing AA standings again.

Team is McCusker, Eaker, Wong, Hurd, Finnegan. Alternate is Jones.

Even though that team needs a third bars score from Sunisa, they didn’t select her, I guess because she didn’t do all four.

Now, she may very well have taken herself out of the running (not doing all four here could indicate that you’re not ready to go to Pan Ams which is 2 seconds from now, though I would definitely take her just for bars and beam even if that’s all she was doing), but we still have the all-around standings used as selection procedures again, which is a cop out.

 

 

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